One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of Judson’s suffering was the powerlessness I felt to remove his pain, my inability to do anything that would alleviate the debilitations that were sweeping rapidly through his body. I just had to hold him and hurt with him.
This tore at the very core of my innate responsibility as his mother—the responsibility to protect, defend, guard, and shield my precious child from danger. But I could not protect Jud; my powerlessness in his suffering shredded my heart.
As I watch Jessie grow, I become more and more aware of the pains in life that may touch her—the unmet longings, the hurt feelings, the broken relationships, the disappointments, and so on. Just the thought of seeing her affected by genuine pain overwhelms my heart with sadness; I want so much to protect her little spirit, her precious innocence, her tender heart from the aches of this broken world.
But I also realize that much of my role as a mother becomes less about being able to protect Jessie and more about teaching my girl how to weather the stings of life with grace and truth. I must slowly let go, meanwhile guiding her into maturity, allowing her to develop strength and character through her pain. Though my innate responsibility to shield Jessie from danger will never change, I will become less and less able to protect her; instead, my role will shift to holding her and hurting with her in her pain.
This is one of the greatest gifts my mom has given me.
My mama has had her heart absolutely shredded through not only watching her grandson suffer and die, but feeling the powerlessness of watching her daughter endure severe suffering too. I know that even in my adulthood she longs to protect me from pain, and although that is impossible, what she has done incredibly well, is to hold me and hurt with me.
I cannot imagine this life journey without my mom. So today, Mother’s/Women’s Day, I take special time to honor the woman who has helped to give me the strength to persevere.